one light out, always on

for Philando Castile

bottlenecked at the barrier
at column b
traffic break-in
philosophizing a transitional state
a rational means
to disruption

bridge, border, candle

handle to handle
deers of justice encircle

riot a highway
a playground
and rings around

we will


diffuse with green puffs of promise
under sodium vapor spell
to bus away
appendages over the line

gone the way of puddle magic
milk to the back of the truck

wet palm
slipping like a photo behind a bookshelf
or in your hand
as a sign comes to levitate itself
“when will this end?”

the fence offered up
tear partition
bent reed

and mobilized again
by agitated terminals
down the ramp
screens ablaze
cop cop
bully baton ready to burst glitters

a phone number scrolls down arm

if jailed
a promise
or eyes peppery
bullhorn red
locked to step
step to breathe

and we worm
under the auger
of junebugs and helicopters

the only forward is back
and all the blue of an ocean
in the fist
to clicks

“I wasn't reaching for it.”

into a garden of bloodspace

we have been here
reaching for you

for the light to return
rounder than morning

the most beautiful black.


Zachary Zalman Green is the author of THE NUMBER YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH (Quotidian Press, 2017) and the co-founding editor of Ghost Proposal. His work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Ilk, Columbia Poetry Review, Jellyfish Magazine, phantom, and elsewhere. He currently resides in Minneapolis where he maintains mountains in his head.